Believe in your dreams says Dr Shaw
Dundalk scientist, engineer and communicator Dr Niamh Shaw was a guest speaker at the Foróige's Leadership for Life Conference at NUI Maynooth last week.
She addressed the gathering of 250 teenagers from all over Ireland, India and the USA who attended the week-long conference.
The conference brings together teenagers, aged 15 to 18 years, to learn how to become leaders in their own lives.
During the sessions, they learn crucial life skills such as empathy, decision making, communication skills, critical thinking and team-work.
Dr Shaw spoke to the young people about the importance of believing in their dreams and to 'try to make the impossible possible, to shake up our idea of reality.'
She shared her enthusiasm for the lessons to be learned from science and space exploration saying: 'From space there are no boundaries, there are no countries- we are all in this together'
She was welcomed to the conference by another Dundalk native, Seán Campbell, CEO of Foróige.
'The Leadership for Life programme enables young people to develop the skills, inspiration, vision, confidence, and action plans to be effective leaders,' he explained.
'Great leadership is grounded in respect and the ability to inspire. In the week ahead these young leaders will uncover the greatness within themselves and their own unique leadership style.
'Young people have a greater role to play now, more than ever before, in the issues that really matter. Youth activism and community action is a central part of our Leadership programme, and I'm both delighted and in awe of what these young people achieve when given the opportunity.'